Anxiety and Personality: The Concept of a Directing Object by Karl König

By Karl König

In accordance with large scientific observations and utilizing theories of ego psychology and item kinfolk conception, the writer proposes the concept that of a phobic personality constitution. there are lots of forms of phobias, yet all phobic sufferers percentage a selected disturbance in ego improvement relating to what the writer calls the inner directing item, which directs habit according to social norms, and evolves in interplay with mom. Phobic sufferers search for exterior directing gadgets as an alternative. This issues interactions with marriage companions, colleagues at paintings and with a therapist. The phobic personality constitution is built through the period of time while obsessive-compulsive personality constructions are shaped.

Applications of this hindrance psychoanalysis and psychoanalytically-oriented psychotherapy and psychoanalytically-based counseling, in addition to difficulties of therapists with a phobic personality constitution.

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Emotions, and their associated facial expressions, are not learned. But they can be blocked or exaggerated, and this varies from culture to culture. Ways of behaving can be learned by imitation or on the basis of identification. Thus, reacting with anxiety when confronted with the external world can be learned from the mother. This may or may not be beneficial, depending on whether the mother reacts in a realistic way. Anna Freud and Dorothy Burlingham (1971) observed that the intensity of children’s anxiety during the bombings in World War II depended on how much anxiety their mothers showed.

When a phobic therapist has taken the patient as a directing object, the therapist remains passive while the patient is active. This may be a sensible thing to do, but it may also be done in the service of avoidance. In summary, some phobic therapists seem to avoid all interventions that could make the patient angry. Counterphobic therapists, by contrast, risk interventions that prove “too much” for the patient, too much to tolerate. They also expect their patients to take risks in their daily lives.

Deutsch also takes aggressive, exhibitionistic, or scoptophilic impulses into consideration, as does Fenichel (1946). Anny Katan-Angel (1937) takes street traffic 9 10 ANXIETY AND PERSONALITY as a symbol for parental sexual intercourse, mobilising scoptophilic impulses. Abraham (1914) supposes that walking can be eroticised, at least in some people, depending on their constitution. Kuiper (1973) sees a woman’s fantasy of prostituting herself as occurring in women of the revenge type described by Abraham (1921), who considers a woman’s prostituting herself to be an aggressive act, since the prostitute does not really give to men what they want.

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